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July 11, 1980

The 'Borderline' Smear in Men With Urethritis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, Emory University School of Medicine (Drs Arnold and Kleris), and the Venereal Disease Control Division, Fulton County Health Department (Dr Kleris), Atlanta. Dr Arnold is now with the Division of Dermatology, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine. Dr Kleris is also now director of Infectious Diseases and Social Health, Fulton County Health Department, Atlanta.

JAMA. 1980;244(2):157-159. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310020033022

Four hundred three men with signs and symptoms of urethritis were examined by stained slide and culture of urethral exudate. Of these slides, 14.1% were interpreted as "borderline" for gonorrhea, ie, showing typical Gram-negative diplococci on microscopic examination located extracellularly only. Of these, only 10.5% were culture positive for Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Patients with urethritis whose slides are "borderline" should be treated as for nongonococcal urethritis with tetracycline hydrochloride and not with aqueous penicillin G procaine.

(JAMA 244:157-159, 1980)